REDI grants available for county small businesses

RBC I The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has grant funds from the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) available for small business owners and government agencies in Rio Blanco County.

The purpose of REDI is to help eligible rural communities develop plans and undertake projects to create jobs, drive capital investment and increase wages to help grow and create resiliency and diversity in the local economy.
The program will fund community asset analysis to determine potential economic development opportunities, including stakeholder convening for solution development resulting in new or updated local plans, which Rio Blanco County is utilizing. There is also competitive grant funding for community infrastructure, business facilities and job training.
Project applications will be evaluated on readiness and the ability to attain concrete results in: Ability to create diversity and resiliency in the economy, new jobs created by a new or existing and expanding employer, capital investment benefitting a regional key industry, increase in average wages, collaboration and growth that benefits more than one community within a region, compatibility with relevant community and economic development plans, evidence of strong support from local government and degree to which the large employer/dominant industry is at risk.
Private employers can apply for grant funds for business facility improvement projects that include private capital investment and are necessary to create new jobs. Evidence of job creation and/or investment is required and part of the performance criteria.
Employers may also apply for employee training programs for new job growth
Business training grants may be awarded up to $800 per employee, per program, that meet new jobs criteria.
Involvement and discussion with local governments, DOLA regional managers, economic development, workforce, community planning and community colleges is required, and can be facilitated through Katelin Cook, Rio Blanco County’s economic development coordinator.
This involvement is evidenced by letters of support and/or local financial contributions to the project (matching funds). Applications showing higher levels of local support will be more competitive.
Building projects utilizing 25 percent or more of state funding and meeting specific thresholds may be required to comply with the High Performance Certification Program (HPCP) requiring LEED Gold Certification. Projects must meet performance criteria, such as construction completion milestones and job creation goals.
Projects may be denied reimbursement or may be required to pay back funds if performance criteria are not met.
Grant applications will be accepted on or before the first day of each month for a monthly grant processing cycle. Interested business owners should contact Katelin Cook for grant forms and to discuss project eligibility prior to applying.
Funded local government infrastructure and facility projects will require a contract between the recipient and DOLA. Funded private-sector training or facility grants will require a contract or agreement with OEDIT. Payment of grant funds will be made on a performance-based reimbursement basis.
The funds utilized for this program are appropriated from the State General Fund to the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and are administered in collaboration with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). Funds are anticipated for fiscal years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. Applications will be accepted until March 1 or until grant funds are exhausted.
If you would like more information, please contact Katelin Cook at 970-878-9474 or email her at katelin@rbc.us.